3×3 Monday’s 6/24/19

Figure It Out – French Montana ft. Kanye West & Nas

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not a huge French Montana fan, however, “Figure It Out” is most likely his best song to date. The song is serious as it discusses topics of death, imprisonment, and honesty. While French Montana isn’t considered to be a deep and serious rapper, he really outdid himself with this song especially with the inclusion of Nas. Nas is another rapper I wasn’t a big fan of at first but after this song and NASIR, my opinion on the legendary rapper has changed. Add in Kanye West for bonus points and you get a solid sentimental track that invokes inner emotions.

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Slayerr – Tm88 ft. Lil Uzi Vert

This song is my second time being exposed to Tm88’s work with the first being “Been Thru a Lot” back in 2016. “Slayerr”, however, is my newest favorite song from Tm88 as Lil Uzi Vert takes the song and makes it his own. The song is very reminiscent of Luv Is Rage 2 and brings the colorful yet dark-toned sound that we’ve come to love and expect from Uzi. I really like Tm88’s production on this song too and their teamwork definitely brings the track to a new height.

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Cops Shot The Kid – Nas ft. Kanye West

As previously mentioned, I wasn’t a big fan of Nas for quite some time. I never understood the hype of Illmatic but I heavily enjoyed his songs “Hate Me Now” and “I Can”. I didn’t listen to NASIR when it came out last year but upon my first listen I fell in love with it. “Cops Shot The Kid” is my favorite song on the album and the Slick Rick sample completes the song in my opinion. I plan to listen to more of Nas’ discography down the road because if it’s anything like this song, I’m surely going to become a huge fan of Nas and his legendary status.

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Panini – Lil Nas X

“Panini” is Lil Nas X’s second single from his newest EP titled 7. This song is so simple and fun that it prompts me to bob my head and bounce with joy. I hope this song blows up like “Old Town Road” did because it truly deserves recognition for its addicting sound. I cannot wait to hear what Lil Nas X has to offer after and “Panini”.

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Soul Glo – B.o.B

I am a huge B.o.B stan and that will never change. Bobby Ray is one of my favorite musicians and has been since his commercial debut in 2010. Flat-Earth theories aside, he is one of the most creative, consistent, and unique rappers in the industry. The music video for “Soul Glo” serves as a homage to the classic Eddie Murphy film, Coming to America. This song is surely going to make one smile with happiness because of its infectious rhythm and beat that is complemented by a catchy chorus. I am still currently listening to his newest release “Southmatic”, but I can highly recommend this song as a place to start.

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Honey – 070 Shake

I have been a huge 070 Shake fan since her debut in 2016 and even got to see her in concert. Her voice is so unique that she can match pretty much every beat given to her and can switch from rapping to singing with ease. Her versatility is what makes Honey such a standout song from her discography. Honey is a great song to get you hype but can also be interpreted in a sad way if looked at from a different viewpoint. I think 070 Shake deserves way more credit than she’s gotten and I’m forever glad that Kanye West gave her a spot to shine in 2018.

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Ransom – Lil Tecca

I just heard this song for the first time last week and haven’t stopped listening to it since. Lil Tecca’s rhymes are very smooth and the beat compliments his delivery very well. I’m glad this song blew up as much as it did because Lil Tecca honestly deserves credit because of this song. I hope we see more of him this year and maybe even a project release.

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Zulu Screams – GoldLink ft. Maleek Berry & Bibi Bourelly

Being one of the more successful rappers from the DMV means that GoldLink has come a long way from his debut in 2014. With his debut album Diaspora being an album I really enjoyed this year, I must highlight one of the best songs from the album. “Zulu Screams” is a song you cannot help but dance to as GoldLink glides over the beat like he usually does. With the beat being more of a dance or house type it is refreshing to see him experiment with this particular sound because I think it works very well for him. I would love to see what else he can do with this sound in the future.

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Dots & Lines – Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco has always been a special kind of rapper with his innovative way of telling stories through albums but it should be known that out of these stories come hidden gems. “Dots & Lines” has stellar production as it sounds like an old western tune mixed with classic rapping. Lupe Fiasco really killed it with this song and it makes me want to listen to all of his discography especially Tetsuo & Youth.

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3×3 Monday’s 6/18/18

Count Bassy – Dance Gavin Dance

After releasing their newest album titled Artificial Selection, I’ve grown attached to “Count Bassy” more than almost any other song from the album. While I do love “Care”, “Midnight Crusade”, and “Evaporate” more than any other Dance Gavin Dance song, however, “Count Bassy” extorts a unique charm that I look forward to experiencing whenever I put it on. “Count Bassy” is a very groovy and enticing song that I hope more people listen to this year. If you haven’t already, give “Count Bassy” and Artificial Selection a listen, as I find it to be one of the best albums of this year!

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I Know What You Want – Busta Rhymes

The early 2000’s were a renaissance for hip-hop music. With 90’s R&B being arguably the dominant genre of the decade, it was finally time for hip-hop to reinvent itself in the 2000’s. This revitalization of a genre was possible by combining the best parts of 90’s R&B with the lyrical aesthetic that hip-hop had to offer at the time. In doing so, allowed artists such as Busta Rhymes to explore their musical talents in a new light. “I Know What You Want” features Mariah Carey and The Flipmode Squad as they slide across the smooth beat with flirtatious rhymes. This song is a certified classic in my book, and to this day the opening bass line still sounds incredible with the proper audio setup.

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WIN- Jay Rock

Jay Rock has been someone I’ve kept an eye on for many years. His relationship with Kendrick Lamar is something that inevitably gave his career a huge boost and allowed him to shine as an artist. “WIN” is the closest thing to a victory anthem in 2018. The song features Jay Rock detailing his successes and accomplishments in life as he went from nothing to something. This cleverly, “features” Kendrick Lamar in the background hyping up Jay Rock with an assortment of ad-libs to show this dedication to the artist. Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar are a great duo and I’m glad to see even though Kendrick Lamar will always be infinitely more popular than Jay Rock, he still stays around and supports his friend.

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Put Your Money – Ludacris

Going back to the statement about the hip-hop renaissance, Ludacris is another important member and leader of this movement. “Put Your Money” works so well as an exhilarating song due to its steel drum inspired beat and feature from DMX. It is known that DMX can change the tone of almost any song he’s on which allows Ludacris to sound more menacing and upbeat than usual. The song itself is about gambling, yet it still retains an intimidating vibe about owning up to things in life. Ludacris really know’s how to make hit songs, and “Put Your Money” is just example of his versatility.

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FAKE – Brockhampton

“FAKE” is my favorite song from the Saturation 1. This song, however, isn’t a traditional Brockhampton song. “FAKE” features the main members with voice modulations, which is something typically used by Kevin Abstract on certain songs. This time, the group is allowed to have fun in their raps and toy around with their style while masking their identity to a degree. Another important part of “FAKE” is the repeated phrase of “Don’t Say That”. The repeated phrase is comparable to the music industry and other industries in which people must be what the label or corporation wants them to be and not be who they really are. This degree of censorship runs rampant in celebrity life and unfortunately, Brockhampton has seemingly come across this and continue to fight it on “FAKE”.

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Countin’ Up – Rico Nasty

I didn’t know who Rico Nasty was until being introduced to her recently by my friend Jayda. Jayda posted on social media about Rico Nasty so I was intrigued enough to look her up. I heard a few songs and looked forward to her upcoming mixtape titled “Nasty”. This mixtape is insane for a 21-year-old that is also a mother of a two-year-old. The beat of “Countin’ Up” immediately sets the tone of the song as Rico Nasty busts onto the scene and immediately starts taking shots. The infectious and memorable beat only further makes her sound like a force to be reckoned with as she continues her tirade. I fully enjoyed “Nasty” and plan to do more on in the future.

Thank you Jayda for introducing me to her!

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Get It Right (Remix) – Diplo

I recently started listening to Diplo because of his LSD project with Labyrinth and Sia, so I am far from a long-time fan. I decided to look into his work. I noticed he did a song with Goldlink and immediately decided to check it out. I was not disappointed as I heard Goldlink glide over the beat that featured MØ. Diplo really reinvented the idea of a remix by improving an already great song with a great feature, which is something most artists fail to deliver on. I decided to listen to the rest of his California EP to which I really enjoyed his experimentation with many modern rappers. I recommend the EP and this song to anyone who is a fan of the new LSD project.

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TEMPTATION – Joey Bada$$

“TEMPTATION” is one of the few songs that serve as a summer hit while still delivering an important message about fighting temptations. Joey Bada$$ made one of the most addicting songs with “TEMPTATIONS” and I couldn’t be any happier with hearing this on my Summer playlist. The fun beat and talent that shine through on this track make for a pleasant and habitual song that I’ve come to love. The chorus and lyrics are some of the best I’ve heard recently and honestly makes me wish I had heard this song earlier. Either way, I cannot wait to see what Joey Bada$$ does next!

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Artificial – EARTHGANG

I found this song by accident last week while attempting to listen to Artificial Selection by Dance Gavin Dance. While typing in Artifical, I accidentally chose this song, and I’m glad that I did. “Artificial” tells the tale of wanting something real over something that’s fake. With a beautiful piano-based beat and solid rapping from EARTHGANG, it’s easy to see why I enjoy this song so much even if it was discovered by accident. I plan to listen to their discography and possibly write a short piece on them too as I can see them blowing up relatively soon if “Artificial” was any indication.

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